Steve West won the 2014 Media Ambassador Category at the inaugural World Paddle Awards in Augsburg, Bavaria. Following his Golden Paddle win, Steve was elected into The Academy by its existing members for his lifetime's contribution to watersports and paddlesports as an athlete and journalist-writer. 15th March 2015.
One of the best known names in the canoeing world, Steve West, is an exceptional athlete, pioneer, explorer, entrepreneur, culture-promoter, role model and perhaps the highest-acclaimed technical writer and researcher who has had produced more than 12 books over a 30- plus year career as well as contributing to a variety of coaching and training syllabus curriculums.
Steve is a world authority on Outrigger Canoe Sport, having published 4 leading and definitive guides, including the world's first coaching manual and devoting most of his life to its development across the Pacific Isles. He is two-times Masters World Champion of the infamous 66km ocean race from Molokai to Oahu, Hawaii and multiple Australian National Champion amongst other titles across the Pacific.
Stand up Paddling (SUP)
Since 2005, he has essentially been one of the founding Godfathers, who brought the sport of Stand Up Paddle to Europe and the UK. His 500 page book, "Stand Up Paddle, A Paddlers Guide", won international acclaim as the ‘Bible of the Sport’ when it was released in 2012 and remains today as the definitive narrative of the sport.
Steve was CEO, Trainer and Course Developer of the Academy of Surfing Instructors Europe (ASI) – an accreditation and training body for stand up paddling instructor education. He has since been involved in assisting with the establishment of the Water Skills Academy based in Harlyn, Cornwall, England.
Steve was a pro windsurfer in the 1980's. From 1980-1987 he was a freelance journalist for UK, USA and Australian Windsurf magazines and a TV-radio ambassador for the sport. He has been a Senior Windsurf Instructor and Examiner for UK Governing Bodies. As for publishing, Steve established Kanu Culture Publications in 1994, an independent Publisher Branch of Batini Books in Australia.
Steve brings expertise in Pacific Island paddling-culture, brand-development, multi-platform journalism and paddling education across a spectrum of paddlesports to the World Paddle Awards. His presence will be a remarkable asset in further unifying paddling communities and other watersports.
Living on the African island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Steve together with wife Mandy, offer a design, marketing and consultation service to the water sports industry, designing stand up paddle boards, paddles, windsurfing equipment and apparel will maintaining their publishing interests.
See clip below an interview with Steve West at the 2015 World Paddle Awards Bavaria
The World Paddle Awards (WPA) is held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of paddlesports along with their achievements from the previous calendar year.
The awards recognise the diversity of people and organisations in our community and honour the hard work they put into our sport. Not only are there awards for the athletes but also for coaches, officials (volunteers), media, event organisers and so on. Furthermore the awards also reflect the fact that there are many different paddles ports within our community. Besides the Olympic disciplines, canoe sprint and canoe slalom, the WPA also respects and celebrates non-Olympic paddle sports.
The winners of the awards will receive The Golden Paddle, a symbol of how each discipline, even though different in sensation to many, requires a paddle used from a boat on water. The Golden Paddle is an emblem of what we have in common and depicts our mission to unite all people and paddlesports.
As with all awards there is an element of subjectivity, which cannot be avoided. In order to eliminate this as much as possible, both the public and Academy members will cast their votes for each category.
A unique association of the greatest living sporting legends and other figureheads, the Academy embraces the principle of using sport to help bring positive social change and unite the different paddlesport disciplines. Academy members offer their time to support the work of WPA year round, they share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people and the different paddlesport disciplines together, likewise to improve the lives of young people around the world.
The members of the WPA Academy vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners in all seven categories. Their vote has a weighting of 50%. Although the Awards bring attention to those at the top end of our sport, it is also athletes at grassroot-level and lesser known paddlesport disciplines that benefit too.